The Dutch impact investors’ community Pymwymic is investing in the Nepalese solar-energy company, Gham Power, which means that entrepreneur, Sandeep Giri, can expand his business considerably. “The demand for solar panels in Nepal is enormous; without solar energy, there is often no electricity”.
Sandeep Giri’s pitch at the Pymwymic Impact Days in 2014 pulled at her heartstrings said impact investor Ann Korijn. “In Nepal, solar energy is not just a sustainable option; it’s the only available source of energy. Most of Nepal is not connected to the power grid, and even when households and businesses are connected, power failures occur on average 14 hours a day. In other words, without solar energy there is no electricity.”
Hence, the business case for this Nepalese solar energy company is exceedingly strong. In comparison to most installers, Gham Power focuses on the sale of larger solar energy systems to businesses and institutions such as hospitals and schools. Such customers simply cannot function without electricity. Moreover, solar energy is much cheaper than electricity from diesel generators.
Gham Power’s strategy seems to be successful. In the past five years, it has installed more than 700 solar energy systems throughout Nepal demonstrating that solar energy is not only suitable for households but also for large-scale energy users. Customers are now queuing up and the order portfolio is completely full. Gham Power had quite a struggle keeping up with the demand because it did not have sufficient working capital. Now, however, the investment made by Pymwymic members Ann Korijn and Rein Goedkoop in 2015 has meant that Gham Power has enough working capital for the time being to pre-finance projects. Korijn: “Sandeep Giri can now strengthen his team and professionalise his business – a must if he is to cope with the enormous growth.”
Sandeep Giri’s pitch at the Pymwymic Impact Days also caught the interest of Triodos Bank. Via their former partner at Clean Energy Bank Nepal they want to set up a separate energy fund to invest in solar panels. This investment will focus on a specific service that Gham Power has recently developed, namely the sale of power generated by solar panels that remain the property of the investment fund.